The COVID-19 pandemic is undoubtedly hurting the global economy in a multitude of ways. Not only have the intermittent lockdowns and other restrictions interrupted market forces from approaching equilibrium, but they have also led to devastating supply chain disruptions and resource crunches across sectors. With the onset of the pandemic, the over-dependency on Chinese manufacturing had started to hurt global economic growth. During the SARS outbreak in 2003, China only contributed to about 4 percent of global output, which had increased to a whopping 16 percent in 2020. With the SARS-CoV-2 virus originating in China, the subsequent allegations against the country over its handling of the crisis, and the ongoing US-China trade war, foreign investors in China have already began shifting their manufacturing activities to countries like India, Bangladesh, Thailand, Vietnam, and Philippines.
With the chaotic evacuation of the US and its allies from the Kabul airport still underway and profound political and security uncertainty still hanging over the country, it is difficult and may even be premature at this moment to envision the kinds of social and economic development that could take place in Afghanistan going forward.
Under the guise of upholding human rights, a US-based institution on Tuesday published a report attempting to vilify the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), claiming that a hydroelectric dam in northeastern Cambodia under the BRI “has undermined the lives and livelihoods of thousands of indigenous and ethnic minority people.”
Global Times writes: As officials from China, Pakistan and Afghanistan revealed an inclination to extend the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a flagship Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) project into Afghanistan, experts said that such projects could help boost Afghanistan’s exports, which is conducive to the country’s journey of peace, but the feasibility of the project depends on whether the Afghan government and Taliban forces can reach a consensus on protecting overseas investment.
A subway train enters the station in Lahore, Pakistan on October 26, 2020. This is the first subway line in Pakistan built with help from China. Photo: Xinhua
When the leaders of G-7 countries met in Carbis Bay last month, they announced a new Build Back Better World (B3W) plan to support infrastructure projects in low- and middle-income countries and respond to China’s Belt and Road Initiative.
Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), China’s largest bank, has reportedly abandoned a plan to finance a coal fire plant in Zimbabwe due to environmental concerns, contributing to the green progress of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
Following the 2013 announcement of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) at a speech given by People’s Republic of China President Xi Jinping during visit to Kazakhstan, Central Asia has been a key regional priority and an indispensable element for the success of the BRI as a whole (PRC Ministry of Foreign Affairs, September 7, 2013).
A new study suggests that official Chinese lending has dropped in recent years. This stems from lessons learnt after a decade of mistakes in overseas lending. How would this affect Belt and Road Initiative projects in Southeast Asia?
None of the key projects involved in China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) have been suspended for reasons connected with COVID-19, a Chinese official said on Tuesday.